Casting a critical eye on bigtime intercollegiate sports, as BloggEd is wont to do, often seems like … well, pick your cliche. (How do fish get in those barrels anyway?)
The latest embarrassing revelation was described in a New York Times article yesterday about highly questionable recruiting practices at the University of Tennessee, currently under investigation by the NCAA. As the Times delicately put it,
A significant part of the investigation is focused on the use of recruiting hostesses who have become folk heroes on Tennessee Internet message boards for their ability to help lure top recruits.
As Leon on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” would put it, “That’s some messed-up *(&%(%, Larry.”
Accoding to the Times, some “hostesses” (love that term) traveled nearly 200 miles to attend a high school game in South Carolina in which at least three Tennessee recruits were playing. One member of the team (who will not enroll at Tennessee) said the hostesses brought signs, including one that read, “Come to Tennessee.” He described the young ladies as “real pretty, real nice and just real cool” and said he thought they had “a lot” of influence in two teammates’ decision to play for the Vols.
“You don’t want to go to a college where they ain’t pretty,” he averred.
True that. Unfortunately for the Vols, pretty girls do not win football games: the team finished with a lackluster 7-5 record this season and is headed to the Chik-fil-a Bowl.
Thanks to Wes Davis, a one-time UT Classics major, for alerting us to this story. Wes points out, “The Classics department uses similar recruiting methods.”